"BIRSE, a parish, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Aboyne; containing 1295 inhabitants. This place was formerly called Press, a word of Gaelic origin, signifying a wood or thicket, and most probably used in reference to the extensive forest and woods in the district. . . . The mansion of Fiuzean, in the south-east of the parish, and in the vale of the river Feugh, is an ancient structure, built in the form of three sides of a square. That of Ballogie, situated in the valley of Glen-Chatt, is a neat and comfortable residence, partly ancient and partly modern, and, like the former, surrounded with well laid-out grounds and thriving plantations. The male population are chiefly engaged in husbandry, and many of the females during winter in knitting worsted stockings, for which most of the wool produced here is purchased. . . Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil, synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £158. 7. 4., a portion of which is received from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe of four acres. The church, inconveniently situated in the north-western part of the parish, is a neat substantial edifice, erected in 1779, and capable of accommodating between 500 and 600 persons. There is a Roman Catholic chapel near Ballogie. . . More"
[From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]